KSN - Activities
The KSN undertakes many activities for the benefit of science and education, and also for the members of the Section, in particular:
Acts for improvement of employment and working conditions, and for the development of social rights
The priority task is to improve the financial situation of the employees of higher education institutions (HEI), scientific institutes (R & D) and Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN). Due to the years of negligence, this matter becomes the subject of ongoing effort and is one of the most important subjects in the negotiations with the governmental authorities of Poland.
In these activities the KSN has been supported by the National Commission of Independent, Self Governing Trade Union "Solidarność" (Komisję Krajową NSZZ „Solidarność”).
The KSN has provided opinions especially in decision making process regarding employment and workplace related issues, and also has taken part in the activity of the Social Dialogue Council (RDS), new forum for cooperation and dialogue between government, employers and workers represented by their trade unions. In 2015, the RDS replaced the Trilateral Commission on Socio-Economic Affairs, active from 1994.
The KSN has supported the institutional organizations in their struggles for improving working conditions and fair salaries.
The KSN main successes:
- Negotiations with the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, and other Ministries resulted in three-stage salary increase (of around 9% yearly) for higher education and scientific staff in the consecutive three years 2013, 2014 and 2015.
- In 2001, on the initiative of the KSN, Polish Parliament decided to improve the system of higher education staff salaries, thus saving higher education from total collapse that time.
- Starting from 1997, most of the Universities and Research Institutes in Poland, while calculating personal income tax from copyrighted work of its employees, have been obliged to apply tax deductible flat rate of costs amounting to 50% of the revenue.
Acts for development of higher education and science
- The KSN acts as ambassador for the better access to education, warns of risks of inadequate low funding for HEIs and research institutions, indicates the needs for system changes in R&D and HE sectors, prepares sets of proposals aimed at improving the conditions of science and HE and creating the conducive environment to the implementation of the tasks facing these issues. To fulfill these aims, undertakes negotiations with the governmental authorities of Poland.
- The Section conducts conceptual work on the improvement of the wide area of higher education and research, also organizes conferences and seminars on the subject.
- Indicates the importance of cooperation between science and economy, applies for the creation of mechanisms encouraging business to undertaking of innovative tasks and to benefit from opportunities and achievements of Polish scientific institutions.
- Participates in the processes on creation, development and improvement of the law in the area of science and higher education.
- Issues opinions on proposals of laws and regulations in the area of HE and science.
- Initiates its own ideas for legislative solutions. As a social partner participates in parliamentary work, particularly in the works of the Parliament Commissions.
- Undertakes actions for proper restructuring of the science area and particularly the proper transformation of R&D institutes
- Follows up the Bologna Process in the creation of European Higher Education Area (EHEA)
Undertakes Interventions for the benefit of institutional organizations and its members
The difficult financial situation of HE and R&D institutions, sometimes a tendency of authorities to take arbitrary and unjust decisions, as well as insufficient knowledge of the applicable laws, often cause conflicts between the employer and the trade union organization acting to defend the rights of collective or individual employees. Institutional organizations can solve on their own the most of these conflicts, but it occurs more and more frequently that support of the KSN is necessary.
In such situation the KSN undertakes interventions and first of all strives to find amicable solutions, but it can occur sometimes, that the final decision is only possible through the Court.
The KSN offers educational trainings for the representatives of institutional organizations in order to increase knowledge about the law and its application. To clarify the rules of law, also legal advices are granted and case studies with interpretations are published if necessary.
Actively participating in international trade union movement
The international trade union movement influences on many important standards for living and working conditions, including also education and science. This may provide crucial support in the activities of the national trade union organizations. It is particularly important for the Polish trade union movement, in the context of united Europe.
- representatives of the KSN participate in congresses, conferences, seminars and colloquia organized by foreign and international trade unions,
- common conferences, symposia and international trainings have been organized in co-operation,
- bilateral cooperation has been developed in particular with the trade unions in Germany.
Prepares information for the internal needs of the NSZZ “Solidarność” and promotes the KSN activities for external environment
- bulletin "The KSN Messages" (Wiadomości KSN) has been edited and the KSN website has been prepared and updated
- materials concerning education and science have been published occasionally to inform Polish society about the most important problems
Initiates measures of a humanitarian nature
- Scholarship Assistance Fund “KRESY” was established to support Polish youth from abroad in performing their studies in Poland.
- The KSN treats Polish science as a whole, but the fact is, that scientific institutions are divided into three types of organizations: Higher Education Institutions, Polish Academy of Sciences and Research and Development institutes. Each of these organizations is based on its own character resulting from different law regulations, different ways of financing and different scope of responsibilities. The KSN aims to create conditions allowing the all establishments to undertake ambitious tasks in the field concerned as education, science and implementation.
- Over the years, the intellectual products, and above all scientific achievements and its derivatives resulting new scientific implementations will become the basic and valuable product on the international market, determining the material prosperity of the state. The importance of excellence in science and education goes far beyond material achievements. Science continually introduces new perspectives for the people. Development of education and science is a prerequisite for comprehensive development of our country.